SEER*Stat Rate Exercise 4b: Merged Variables for Racial/Ethnic Combinations

In this exercise, you will reproduce all of the statistics generated in Rate Exercise 4a as well as some additional statistics for All races combined and Hispanic ethnicity. You will do this using a merged variable, rather than complex selection statements.

If you are just getting started with SEER*Stat, be sure to do the introductory tutorials first.

Problem Statement

Create a table showing frequencies and incidence rates (age-adjusted to the 2000 US standard population) for malignant esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Include only microscopically confirmed cases. Calculate these statistics for persons diagnosed from 1992 through 2011 in the SEER 13 Registries. Do not show statistics based on fewer than 30 cases.

Display the statistics by race, ethnicity, and sex. Show data for males and females separately but not combined. Show the following racial and ethnic combinations by creating a merged variable: "All races combined" "White", "Black", "American Indian/Alaska Natives (CHSDA)", "American Indian/Alaska Natives (regardless of CHSDA)", "Asian or Pacific Islander", "Total Hispanic", "White Hispanic". Include standard errors and confidence intervals in the table.

Define squamous cell carcinoma as: Histologic Type ICD-O-3 = 8070-8078,8083-8084

Key Points and Reminders

  • This exercise requires that you create a merged variable to show statistics for specific racial and ethnic combinations. This variable merges the following variables: Race recode (W, B, AI, API), SEER Registry, Origin Recode NHIA (Hispanic, Non-Hisp), and CHSDA 2012.
    • Hispanic is not mutually exclusive from Whites, Blacks, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaska Natives. When producing statistics using SEER Incidence data for Hispanic ethnicity, SEER excludes cases from the Alaska Native Registry.
  • When producing statistics using SEER Incidence data for American Indians/Alaska Natives, SEER frequently only includes cases that are in a Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA). In this exercise we will produce statistics for American Indians/Alaska Natives in CHSDA areas only and for all areas regardless of CHSDA.
  • The merged variable that we create will be very useful for future analysis. Being able to create and save variables for future use provides a significant benefit over defining complex selection statements for each analysis, as we did in Rate Exercise 4a.
  • The merged variable will allow us to create statistics for additional racial/ethnic groups in the same analysis as the other races. This would be very difficult without using a merged variable. For example, the selection statement in Exercise 4a would make an All races estimate invalid. This is because our All races estimate should include all registries for all races.

Step 1:  Open Exercise 4a's Matrix and Extract the Session

  • Open the file saved in exercise 4a. The filename should be "rate exercise 4a.sim".
  • If you did not save the output for exercise 4a you may open our version of Rate Exercise 4a.
  • SEER*Stat matrix files include the session information used to generate the table. This information serves as documentation for the results and provides a convenient method for generating similar statistics.
  • From the Matrix menu select Retrieve Session.
  • Two windows should now be open. Close the matrix window containing the results calculated in exercise 4a. You should now have one window labeled "Rate Session-x" where x is the number of rate session windows that you have created since starting SEER*Stat.

Step 2:  Modify the Selection Statement

  • On the Selection Tab, click the Clear button next to the "Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County (Pop, Case Files)" box. In this exercise, we will use a merged variable to show statistics for specific racial and ethnic combinations.
  • Leave the existing selection statement in the "Other (Case Files)" box.

Step 3:  Create the Merged Variable to use on the Table Tab

For this exercise, you need to define a merged variable with 8 groupings: All races combined; White; Black; American Indians/Alaska Natives (CHSDA); American Indians/Alaska Natives (regardless of CHSDA); Asian or Pacific Islander; Total Hispanic (excl AK); and White Hispanic (excl AK).

Open the Data Dictionary.

  1. Use the Merge... button to open the Edit Merged Variable window.
  2. Enter the following Name for the variable: "Race/Eth (For Recommended Regs)".
  3. Click the Add button to open the New Merged Grouping window. Notice that the New Merged Grouping window is the same as the Selection window used to define your analysis cohort on the Selection Tab. Selection statements are used to define the groupings of a merged variable.
  4. Add the first grouping (All races combined) by creating a selection statement for the subset of cases the new grouping will contain. Your selection statement should look like this:
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Race recode (W, B, AI, API)} = 'White','Black','American Indian/Alaska Native','Asian or Pacific Islander','Other unspecified (1991+)','Unknown'
  5. Click OK to return to the Edit Merged Variable window and enter the name for the new grouping.
  6. Click the Add button and repeat these steps to create the seven additional groupings needed for this exercise:
    White
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Race recode (W, B, AI, API)} = 'White'

    Black
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Race recode (W, B, AI, API)} = 'Black'

    American Indian/Alaska Natives (CHSDA)
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Race recode (W, B, AI, API)} = 'American Indian/Alaska Native'
    AND {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.CHSDA 2012} = 'CHSDA'

    American Indian/Alaska Natives (regardless of CHSDA)
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Race recode (W, B, AI, API)} = 'American Indian/Alaska Native'

    Asian or Pacific Islander
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Race recode (W, B, AI, API)} = 'Asian or Pacific Islander'

    In the following groupings, be sure "is not = to" is the Operator used for the SEER registry selection:
    Total Hispanic (excl AK)
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Origin recode NHIA (Hispanic, Non-Hisp)} = 'Spanish-Hispanic-Latino'
    AND {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.SEER registry} != 'Alaska Natives - 1992+'

    White Hispanic (excl AK)
    {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Race recode (W, B, AI, API)} = 'White'
    AND {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.Origin recode NHIA (Hispanic, Non-Hisp)} = 'Spanish-Hispanic-Latino'
    AND {Race, Sex, Year Dx, Registry, County.SEER registry} != 'Alaska Natives - 1992+'

  7. When you have finished defining the groupings for the merged variable, check Save to Dictionary so the variable is available for use in future sessions.
  8. Click the OK button to close the current window, and then close dictionary window.

Step 4:  Replace the Row Variable for Race (Table Tab)

  • Select "Race recode (W,B,AI,API) w/o unks" from the Display Variables box, and then click Remove.
  • Use the "+" symbol to expand the Merged category in the Available Variables box at the bottom of the Table Tab.
  • Select "Race/Eth (For Recommended Regs)" and add it to the row dimension.

Learn More...

  • Notice the icon that appears next to the "Race/Eth (For Recommended Regs/Regions)" variable under the Merged category in the Available variables box includes a thumbtack symbol. This indicates that the variable has been saved to the dictionary and will be available in future sessions that use the same database.

Step 5:  Specify a Title (Output Tab)

  • Move to the Output Tab.
  • Enter the following title:
  • Malignant Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
    Microscopically Confirmed Cases Only, 1992-2011
    SEER 13 for White, Black, API
    SEER 13, with Special Registry/CHSDA Selections for Hispanic and AI/AN
    Rate Exercise 4b
  • Ensure that the option to "Hide Statistics When Fewer Than 30 Cases" is checked.

Step 6:  Create and Save the Matrix

  • Use the Execute button or select Execute from the Session menu to execute the session.
  • A dialog will display the progress of the job. When the job completes, a SEER*Stat matrix window will open containing the output table.
  • Compare your results to this SEER*Stat matrix file: Exercise Matrix 4b Results.